Seven Reasons Why the REACH Act Falls Short
The Reach Every Mother And Child Act (REACH Act) was first introduced in the 114th Congress as Senate bill 1911 and House bill 3706. It has been reintroduced in the 115th Congress as Senate bill 1730 and House bill 4022. Its stated goal is to consolidate USAID efforts to eliminate preventable maternal and child deaths in 25 target countries by prioritizing the most cost-effective methods that save the most lives. The bill does not include new appropriations, but would set clear benchmarks for success, create a position of Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator within USAID, and realign nearly $3 billion in existing grants to focus on impacts measured in “lives saved.” In its earlier iteration, this proposed legislation drew many bipartisan cosponsors. However, the reintroduced version retains many of the problematic aspects of the earlier one, which originate in the 2014 USAID “Acting On the Call” (AOTC) report that serves as the blueprint for the proposed realignment.